Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

A new era in national water resource reporting

Media release
3 November 2011

Australia's first National Water Account unveiled today provides the most accurate and robust reporting to date of one our most essential natural resources.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the Bureau of Meteorology's delivery of the National Water Account was a landmark achievement.

"The National Water Account brings together more than 30 water agencies and reporting partners to provide the most comprehensive snapshot of water information available in Australia," he said

"It is recognised around the world that water plays a key role in prosperity and well being. The National Water Account gives Australia the ability to accurately monitor, assess, and forecast the availability, quality and use of water resources.

"The Australian Government has invested $9 million in the National Water Account, through the Water for our Future initiative. This important milestone demonstrates leadership in water reform to ensure greater water security through better management of one our most important resources, for the benefit of all Australians.

"The National Water Account has been designed to be easily accessible and publicly available online and opens up a wealth of opportunities for enhanced interactivity and real-time information."

Bureau of Meteorology Acting Director of Meteorology, Dr Rob Vertessy, said the account aims to build confidence in water management across Australia through transparent, independent and rigorous annual reporting of the amount of water available, traded, accessed and used for various purposes, through scientific data and analysis.

"The Bureau produces a range of water information products including water storage, seasonal streamflow forecasts and the Australian hydrological geospatial fabric, known as Geofabric," he said.

"The National Water Account expands this portfolio of water information in an exciting way, applying a world-leading, scientific approach to water reporting," Dr Vertessy said.

The first National Water Account 2010 captures a nationally comparable set of water accounting reports for eight key water management regions across the country (Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Murray-Darling Basin, Ord, Perth, South East Queensland, Sydney), with the same diligence applied to financial accounting methods, for the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010.

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